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Opposition parliament members wary over UK's Royal Mail privatization

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September 3
12:09 PM 2013

The opposition Members of the Parliament (MPs) are concerned that the privatization of UK's universal postal service, Royal Mail, would foresee the universal postal service selling its assets, including the postal service's most expensive parts like rural operations. 

Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray, who was also deemed as Labor's shadow minister for postal affairs, said, "If the universal service obligation becomes too expensive to deliver or if the privatised Royal Mail just hands back the keys to the Government, as the private companies did when their contracts failed on the east coast rail line, what will happen? The taxpayer will pick up the tab."

The advice came after MPs debated yesterday in the House of Commons over the rural postal services' future yesterday.

The Minister for Postal Affairs Jo Swinson assured the Parliament that the 2011 Postal Services Act was enough to protect delivery services of Royal mail, including a uniform "affordable" tariff. Labor MPs like Murray, on the other hand, had said that private operators can pick the most favorable routes and would leave Royal Mail with less profitable ones. The "cherry pick" tactic would increase operational expenses for UK's postal service, which might lead to a reduction of delivery service routes for the rural customers. 

Katy Clark, MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, said, "I do not believe that the protections that we have been offered are adequate, so I am asking the Government to halt the sale of Royal Mail to give proper consideration to how rural services can be provided in the longer term, and to put in place stronger legal protections for the universal service obligation." 

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